Poet’s Nook: “What We Want” by Ras Baraka

Oppression and Power – Introduction to Community Psychology

WE WANT TO LOVE OURSELVES FREELY…
Unfettered images of our grandmothers In our dreams

WE WANT to praise our own God and
WE WANT to see his reflection in our children’s eyes

WE WANT to draw him blue
like jazz
with long dreads and thick lips

WE WANT music everyday
and especially on Sunday

WE WANT dancing to be a prerequisite for success

WE WANT the blue jazz funk rock soul hip-hop r and b

And the wealth created from it to be our babies inheritance and
WE WANT it taught in elementary schools all over the world

WE WANT to speak for ourselves

We don’t want handouts
We just want everything we created

And everything we created

And everything that was created as a result of what we created

With interest

But the good thing is-we are willing to share

WE NEED a guarantee income for all
Education like fresh air

And food and water and shelter

And be FREE from sickness and diseases

WE NEED long life
to collectively oppose death and stagnation

WE NEED ideas and imagination

We should be against hoods the sheeted whites ones

The ones that take and keep taking from the meek

And often defenseless

Even the glorified trap
– Yeah we against the trap too
WE NEED our skies free from poison
to be able to breath in sunshine
and feel the wind on our faces
WE NEED and end to war
and oppression
WE NEED the people to own their own labor
WE NEED every corner of every country developed
and ever community empowered
WE NEED it all turned right side up
we need the raw materials from the earth used to end poverty anywhere it exists
WE NEED the callouses on our hands and the pains in our lower back
to be added to our savings

WE NEED health care to be free
and information to be FREE
and ideas to be FREE
the news to be FREE
and the PEOPLE TO BE FREE
YEAH AND THE PEOPLE TO BE FREE
WE NEED to end to slavery in all forms
and end to exploration and

WE NEED all the money in all the banks every part of the world to be
used for our collective benefit
WE NEED to outlaw lies
and teach the peoples history in all languages from the view point of all of us

WE NEED to allow everyone to vote to be represented
no matter where the are as soon as they are of age
to dismantle the electoral college
and make a Racism and White supremacy illegal

WE NEED to ban the confederate flag and label every monument to
genocide with a red letter
or just plain tear them down
and replace them with statures of black and brown women that carried us through the darkest
moments of history
WE NEED to destroy all nuclear weapons
but first start with automatic rifles and handguns

WE NEED to replace the war on drugs with a war on ignorance
we need to destroy the pipeline to cages
and use the savings to develop the human spirit
to treat illness social, mental and physical

WE NEED freedom
not just the bill of rights
but rights to build our own lives
to be FREE from destituteness
and hatred and hungry children
FREE from sickness with cures

Underdevelopment and cold winter nights with no heat

FREE from losing our land or block our community our homes

FREE from choking to death in our own backyard

And schools that undermine our self esteem

FREE from praising those that lynched us
and
FREE to pray in any language and to any one we choose
FREE to be free how we define it and free to not live with nothing
and
FREE enough to know the world is made up of all of us not some of us
and that only when all of us are free none of us will be
and that our collective existence is tied directly to our individual existence a coexistence with ourselves one big we
this is –
WHAT WE WANT AND WHAT WE NEED; WHAT WE NEED and WHAT WE WANT
and WE WANT IT THIS VERY MOMENT IN THE IN NOW AND THE FOREVER!

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